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Sep 23, 2009

Dilshan, Mendis inspired Sri Lanka victory

Inspiring performances from Tillakaratne Dilshan (106) and Ajantha Mendis (3-30) helped Sri Lanka make a 55-run victory over hosts South Africa in the opening game of the ICC Champions Trophy 2009 at SuperSport Park on Tuesday.

Tillakaratne DilshanDuckworth-Lewis method had to be applied as rain rashly ended South Africa’s run chase of 320. The Proteas were 206-7 after 37.4 overs when deep showers brought an end to the game with Albie Morkel (29) and Roelof van der Merwe (3) at the middle.

The hosts were shoring along at 90-1 until Ajantha Mendis show began. The heretical spinner removed Graeme Smith (58), Jacques Kallis (41) and JP Duminy (0) in the space of six overs, to go away the hosts in terrible straits.

Ajantha MendisWhile put into bat, Sri Lanka scored an impressive 319 for 8. Dilshan (106) continued his fine form and scored his third One-day International century and first against South Africa to help his team set a massive target of 320 runs for South Africa. The Sri Lankan innings was built around the 158-run stand among Dilshan and captain Kumara Sangakkara (54), and later a 116-run stand for the 4th wicket between Mahela Jayawardene (77) and birthday boy Thilan Samaraweera (37).

A recent change from the middle order, Dilshan struck 16 boundaries and one six in his 92-ball innings. He, finally, deceased on the first ball of the 29th over, caught at the boundary by Albie Morkel off the bowling of speedster Dale Steyn.

South Africa hadn't played any international cricket since the World Twenty20 in June and that was evident on Tuesday. Having set such high standards in the last 12 months, they were obviously below par and lacked necessity and sharpness in the field. Their bowling attack was led by Steyn (3-47), who didn't receive sufficient support, especially from Wayne Parnell, who conceded 79 runs from his 10 overs.

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